show review

Vans Warped Tour 2013

Cleveland

Show: July 18, 2013
Lisa Sanchez
There are few summer festivals that rival the popularity and diverse scope of Vans Warped Tour. The event always provides a medley of bands, meet and greet opportunities, numerous booths of independent retailers, plus one hundred percent guaranteed sunburn. Overall, the tour offers unique experiences to newcomers as well as veteran concertgoers. Honestly, it's not every concert you get to meet some of the biggest headliners in alternative music and ride on a giant "Slip N Slide".

The set-up of this year’s Warped Tour was far superior to some venues in the past. The last time I attended Vans Warped Tour was in 2007 at Nautica Pavilion in Downtown Cleveland. That venue was the equivalent of pushing one thousand music fans into a meat grinder. The venue had no shade and not nearly enough room to accompany the massive amount of bands performing that year. Thankfully, Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls is widespread enough to avoid the pushing-through-mounds-of-sweaty-burnt-bodies problem I've encountered in previous years.
...like this guy (Sanchez 2013)
On top of the venue being more spacious, the stages were better set up as well. Instead of one or two large areas surrounded by small (and sometimes easy-to-overlook) stages, the bands were placed all over the sprawling venue. This created an atmosphere that no matter where I went I was being sucked in by the music of new bands. It's too easy to go to a giant festival like Warped Tour and only watch the big name bands. With the wide disbursement of stages, the experience is broadened to new bands and even new kinds of music.
Kia Forte Stage at this year’s 2013 Cleveland Warped Tour (Sanchez 2013)
The lineup for this year's Cleveland Warped Tour also spurred my interest. With main stage heavy-hitters like Black Veil Brides, Bring Me the Horizon, We Came as Romans, Hawthorne Heights, and Motion City Soundtrack, the tour offered a combination of buzz-worthy bands and surprising comeback acts. The genres of bands were diverse, ranging from death metal giants The Black Dahlia Murder to YouTube rapper Mac Lethal. Think of Warped Tour as a one big sampling platter at the cheese tasting of your life. You already paid money to get in; you might as well listen to a little bit of everything.

Overall, the show was run really well and definite improvements had been made from previous years. There were great bands, lots of activities, and even a "hydration station" that likely prevents hundreds of cases of dehydration and sunstroke. Vans Warped Tour 2013 is a unique and exciting summer concert. I’m inclined to agree with the tour's tag line: "Best Day Ever." I'll take that challenge and raise you Best Day Ever for Vans Warped Tour 2014. My only recommendation is to hand out free sun safety pamphlets at the gate because, unfortunately, some concert-goers think they thrive on UV rays and end up with full thickness burns.